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Monsanto Fined for Paying Bribes in Indonesia : Corruption Case

In January 2005, Monsanto agreed to pay $1.5 million in penalties to settle U.S. criminal and civil charges for bribing an Indonesian government official and concealing the payment as consulting fees. The settlements were reached with the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Monsanto was charged with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for making an illegal payment of $50,000 to a senior official in Indonesia's Ministry of the Environment in 2002 and falsely certifying the bribe as "consultant fees" on the company's books and records.

Monsanto agreed to pay a $1 million penalty, adopt internal compliance measures, and cooperate with continuing criminal and civil investigations. The Justice Department statement said that an "independent compliance expert" will audit and keep watch on Monsanto's compliance program".

The St. Louis-based company also agreed to pay a $500,000 civil penalty to settle SEC charges for the $50,000 bribe and related violations which included at least $700,000 of "illegal or questionable payments made to at least 140 current or former Indonesian government officials and their family members," the SEC said.

Some of the payments were for buying land and building a house in the name of the wife of a senior Ministry of Agriculture official, the SEC said.

A former U.S.-based Monsanto senior manager directed an Indonesian consulting firm to make the $50,000 bribe to a senior official in the Ministry of the Environment to get him to repeal a requirement for an environmental impact study the company needed before it could cultivate genetically modified crops, the Justice Department said.

The Monsanto manager also ordered the Indonesian consultants to submit false invoices for "consultant fees" to get reimbursed for the bribe money. The manager also agreed to pay the consulting firm's taxes on income from the phony fees, according to the department.

The cash bribe was delivered to the government official in February 2002 and Monsanto, through its Indonesian subsidiary, paid the false invoices the next month and a false entry for the "consulting services" was included in Monsanto's books and records, the department said.

The following lists all references contained in our database that are relevant to this briefing
 [] 'USA's Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (1977)' by Kirstine Drew [Source ID = 8519]

The Times [1/14/2005] 'Support for Scotland adviser in bribes row' by Angus Macleod [Source ID = 12927]

Corporate Crime Reporter [1/10/2005] 'Monsanto Gets Deferred Prosecution For Bribery' [Source ID = 12943]

UPI [1/6/2005] 'Monsanto to pay $1 million in bribe case' [Source ID = 13631]

Corporate Law and Business [1/10/2005] 'Monsanto to Pay $1M to Avoid Charges It Bribed Indonesian Official' : [Source ID = 13632]


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